Tossing bouquets and releasing doves into the air are pretty much wedding staples all around the world these days (or at least in Hollywood movies). And if you’re someone who thought that these ones were over-the-top, wait till you get to the end of this list of 7 of the most bizarre wedding customs around the world:
So, this is an age-old cleansing ritual (yup, you read that right) where the bride’s friends and family get hold of the bride-to-be and throw all sorts of random things at her. These random things could be anything from boot polish to rotten fish. Long time ago, this ritual started off as a cleansing ritual in Scotland where the feet of the bride would be washed but the game changed when the washing venue was moved to the garden. Getting washed in muck and goo is fun, yo! Imagine the woe of a bride-to-be who has just spent a bomb on pearl facials and hair straightening!
Chicken liver, the date setter
In China, there exists a tribe called Daur where the decision maker regarding the wedding date is not the bride or the groom. Not their families. No, not even the astrologers. It is the liver of a baby chicken! When the time comes for the date to be set, our dear couple-to-be would dissect a piece of chicken, ardently smiling and holding the knife simultaneously as though they are cutting into a five-tier wedding cake. The innards of the chicken are thoroughly investigated to spot the liver. Once the “Eureka” moment of finding the liver is at hand, the couple examines the liver together. If it turns out to be healthy, then they move ahead with the date setting. Else, they order another plate of chicken and the drama repeats!
You leave, we kiss
Before the much-awaited “Now you may kiss the bride” moment comes in a bride’s and groom’s life, there have to be some rounds of kissing taken by both parties. In Swedish weddings, if a groom figures that he has a weak bladder and wants to head to the loo, then all the men line up to plant a kiss on the bride’s cheeks. And in case if it’s the bride who wants to excuse herself from the party, then sorry lady, your man’s going to be showered with a series of kisses from the girls while you’re gone!
Hold it, baby!
So, you get married! And then you get back to “normal” life, right? Not quite so in Borneo. This is an island located between Malaysia and Indonesia, and they have this weird tradition that prohibits the bride and groom from using the bathroom after the wedding. Not one night, not two nights, but three whole days and nights! Apparently, this leads to a happy and long married life. Well, not sure about the life but their bladders and kidneys are going to be very unhappy about it.
Whip and tell
I guess Koreans are not quite generous like the Borneonans when it comes to imparting agony to the bride and the groom alike. This ceremony called “Falaka” is exclusively for the groom and is supposed to be one of the most fun (erm, that’s what they say!) wedding traditions. So, the groom’s shoes are taken off and he is asked to lie on the floor. Ah, foot reflexology he thinks, and there comes the whip from a wooden stick or cane on the sole of his feet making him wince. After every beating, he is asked all sorts of trivia questions to make sure that he uses his brain even at the most challenging of times.
Like in the American culture, where they believe you’re next in line to get married if the bride’s wedding bouquet lands straight into your arms, in the Peruvian culture it’s all in the wedding cake. Peruvian wedding cakes are made of several layers and decorated with colourful ribbons to round each tier. While all ribbons are attached to cute mementos, there will be one ribbon that has a fake ring attached to it. All the unmarried friends of the bride gather around the cake and start pulling the ribbons. The one who gets the ribbon with the ring is believed to have marriage on their cards soon. To be frank, this is the only custom in this list that I personally liked!
Why, so serious?
Of course, I understand that a wedding is serious business and should not be taken lightly. But you should at least have the liberty to flash a smile at your wedding, right? Well, if you are born in the Congo then don’t even dream about it! The bride and the groom are supposed to look extremely serious because, well, a smile kills seriousness and this means you’re not taking your wedding seriously. Wow, beat that analysis, guys! Also, I wonder if they hire wedding photographers to click pictures of grumpy looking grooms and brides!
Do you know of any strange wedding customs that should be included in this list?